|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, May 14, 2017
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 30,137
Taylor's homer gives Nationals split with Phillies
(TSX / STATS) -- WASHINGTON -- Two of the Washington Nationals' biggest stars were front and center on Sunday night.
Former Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer showed his toughness by staying in the game after getting hit by a liner in the left knee in the fourth inning.
Bryce Harper showed his greatness by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and lifting his average to .384 the day after he signed a record contract for 2018.
However, it was young center fielder Michael A. Taylor, thrust into the starting lineup with an injury to veteran Adam Eaton late last month, who hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning off the left field foul pole to give the Nationals a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Taylor, who had fanned on each of his previous three at-bats, allowed Washington to earn a split of a day-night doubleheader.
"I was just hoping it would hit the foul pole. It looked like it was headed foul," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "We got a break finally against these guys."
In the first game, the Phillies scored three runs in the ninth to win 4-3 against the Nationals' bullpen, which had the highest ERA in the league going into Sunday.
Cameron Rupp tied the game with his second hit, and Ty Kelly drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the top of the ninth. In the seventh, Tommy Joseph hit a solo homer for the first Phillies run.
"I feel more comfortable than I did," said Joseph, who hit his fourth homer of the month. "I'm putting myself in better positions, better counts. I've been doing a better job of elevating the ball."
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson went just five innings but was saved by the bullpen. "That was great to see," he said of the comeback in the first game.
Philadelphia was five outs away from a doubleheader sweep when Anthony Rendon walked with one out in the eighth inning and Taylor followed with his second homer of the year, off reliever Pat Neshek (0-1).
"We battled the best we can. A huge home run right there," Harper said of the Taylor longball. "A huge team win."
Freddy Galvis had a two-run triple in the eighth off reliever Jacob Turner to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead.
Matt Albers of Washington pitched a perfect ninth and recorded his second save of the season and just the second of a career that has spanned 466 games.
Scherzer went six innings and gave up three runs on a season-high nine hits. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter for the first time in eight starts this season.
Brian Goodwin pinch-hit for Scherzer with two outs in the sixth and lined an RBI double that just eluded Aaron Altherr in the left-field corner to give Washington a 4-3 lead.
Philadelphia had tied the game at 3 with an RBI single in the sixth by Andres Blanco. The Phillies could have taken the lead on an infield single by Daniel Nava with two outs, but Brock Stassi was thrown out at home after he rounded the bag too far at third after the hit to short.
Scherzer pumped his right arm emphatically as catcher Jose Lobaton made the tag on Stassi after a throw from third baseman Rendon to keep the game tied. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez went five innings and allowed three runs, two earned.
The winning pitcher was Turner (2-1), who gave up one run while retiring two. Michael Saunders, Galvis and Stassi had two hits for the Phillies.
The Nationals -- and their fans -- received a major scare in the top of the fourth inning when Saunders lined a ball near the left knee of Scherzer. The ball rolled into short right field for a hit while Scherzer hopped around in pain and eventually fell to the ground.
"It really hurt. I just needed to catch my breath," said Schezer, who said the pain of a blister went away after he got hit. "I knew I took it good."
"A scary moment," Harper said. "I thought it was way worse than it was."
The 2016 National League Cy Young Award winner was looked at by Baker and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard as he lay on the ground behind the mound. Scherzer got up and began some practice throws and stayed in the game.
With runners on first and second and no outs, the next hitter, Blanco, flew out to right. But Stassi singled to drive in Altherr to tie the game at 1 and, two batters later, Andrew Knapp had an RBI single to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Scherzer bounced back and struck out the side in order in the fifth.
"Max is a warrior," Baker said.
NOTES: Washington LHP Matt Grace was the 26th man for the Nationals for the day-night doubleheader and RHP Ben Lively was the 26th man for the Phillies. Grace was summoned from Triple-A Syracuse and Lively got the call from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Both have major league experience this year. ... Washington LF Jayson Werth sat out both games of the doubleheader. He was taken out in the top of the eighth Saturday night because of a groin injury. ... Phillies OF Odubel Herrera was in the starting lineup in the second game after being used as a pinch-hitter in the first game.
Updated May 15, 2017